SAINT OR SINNER

Cardinal Wuerl of D.C. Defends Himself Against Claims He Helped Pennsylvania Abusers

Washington, D.C.’s Cardinal Wuerl—who was accused of guiding abusive priests in Pennsylvania back into parishes when he was a bishop there—has defended himself, saying he tried to protect children during his time in the role. A Pennsylvania grand jury investigation released Tuesday alleges that more than 300 priests abused more than 1,000 children dating back to 1947. Wuerl, who was bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006, is not accused of abuse—but the report does say he reassigned priests known to have a history of abuse to new parishes. The Archdiocese of Washington posted a new website Tuesday night defending Wuerl, saying: “While I served as Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and as our understanding of child sexual abuse increased, the Diocese worked to strengthen our response and repeatedly amended the Diocese’s safeguards and policies. The Diocese worked to meet or exceed the requirements of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the reporting requirements of Pennsylvania law.”